April is upon us, and we're doing a couple of special shows as we continue to take the *ahem* award-winning show 'The Explorers Club: Antarctica' around the country. The good folk at the Tauranga Art Gallery rang up six weeks or so ago, as we were tearing down the West Coast on the way to a party in Okarito where at least two people would turn out to be dressed up as ships, dogs would be dressed as other, more famous, dogs, there would be more than one Amelia Earhart and a resplendent Julius Von Haast, as well as open fires and the many many half-wild children that haunt the fringes of any gathering down there in Westland, running about underfoot in a baying, slavering pack and by god you don't want to turn your back on the whiskey or they'll be off with it faster than a weka with a set of car keys.
Explorers Club party, near Franz Josef. Note people dressed as ships, dogs dressed as other dogs, etc.
Do not try to party like this in the city, you will not be able to reach these levels.
Anyway we were making good time on the tight turns, listening to War of The Worlds at a reasonable volume, screaming in the scary bits and shaking our skinny fists at the mountains, those awful snowbound monstrosities that wouldn't stop their looming out there to the left of the car, and shaking our fists also at that mighty ocean roiling away out there to the right, generally passing the time the way we do when we're driving through scenes of surpassing natural beauty and feeling a little bit diminished by it all.
For the love of God, move back the mountains. How they loom!
So it was reassuring, amidst all of this awful (in the sense of filling one with awe) and deeply savage (in the sense of there being a lot of trees around) sensory overload, to receive a phonecall from that most genteel and civilised of institutions, a public art gallery. I pulled to a halt at the side of the road and reduced Jeff Wayne to a polite murmur, and we did the deal then and there, using the magic of wireless telephony:
Thurs 18 April: The Explorers Club: Antarctica at Tauranga Art Gallery 7:30 PM, tickets $25
So come to that, if you find yourself in the Bay of Plenty at the right time. The next night, we're appearing on Waiheke, in the wonderful Artworks Theatre. Last time we were there it was as the Wine Cellar Strings, backing Marlon, Delaney and Tami, the sweetest country threesome you'll hear in New Zealand at the moment. And ladies it's true - I did kiss Marlon Williams all upon his stubbly cheek, and he will always have a piece of my heart.
Fri 19th April: The Explorers Club: Antarctica at Artworks Theatre, Waiheke Island, 7pm $15 presales, $20 at the door
It's only a short and very beautiful ferry ride from downtown Auckland, so let's just agree that we'll see you there on the night.